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Rwanda Pledges Free COVID-19 Vaccinations

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The Rwandan government says it will offer free Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination to citizens after the country receives the vaccine next year.

Rwandan Health Minister Daniel Ngamije disclosed this in an interview with public broadcaster Rwanda Television on Friday.

“We will start with health personnel because they are part of people at high risk of being infected, people with comorbidity as well as elderly 65 years and above.

“These are the groups that are priority for getting the vaccine at zero cost,” Ngamije said.

The health ministry is working to ensure it is ready to receive the vaccine when it is rolled out.

The first batch of the vaccine could be received around March 2021, Ngamije added.

While forecasting a good acceptance of the vaccination among citizens, the minister said the government was mobilising resources to increase vaccination coverage from 20 per cent to 60 per cent.

Rwanda, late Friday, reported 79 new COVID-19 cases and 37 fresh recoveries, bringing its national caseload to 6,428 and recoveries to 5,826, with a total of 54 deaths.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Records 3 Deaths, 1,430 Infections in 24 Hours

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No fewer than three people died from complications related to the coronavirus (COVID-19), the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said.

The health agency, in a statement on its website, said it recorded 1,430 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 122,996.

The NCDC disclosed this on its website on Monday.

The country has so far tested 1,270,523 people since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, 2020 in the country.

The Nigeria’s public health institute sadly registered three additional coronavirus related deaths in the last 24 hours in the country.

The NCDC stated that the new infections were reported from 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The agency, in its breakdown of the newly recorded infections, shows that Lagos state reported the highest number of confirmed infections with 744 cases.

This brought the total number of infections in the state to 45,684 and 292 deaths recorded.

Plateau reported 100 infections, Oyo had 77 and the FCT, the second most affected by the disease in the country registered 75 new infections.

Amongst other states were; Nasarawa-74, Katsina-48, Edo-42, Kano-41, Enugu-37, Rivers-34, Ogun-33, Kwara-32, Niger-28, Ebonyi-27, Kaduna-26, Borno-12, Yobe-10, Ekiti-five and Gombe-one.

The health agency also announced the discharge of 1,131 patients from isolation centers across the country.

According to it, the discharges today include 435 community recoveries in Lagos State and 184 community recoveries in Kaduna State managed in line with guidelines.

It noted that a multi-sectoral national Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) activated at Level 3, is coordinating response activities nationwide.

The country’s COVID-19 infections have witnessed a significant increase since Nov. 29 till date.

During the period, from November 29 to December 3, a total of 1,607 cases were recorded and since then, the country’s weekly infections have recorded a massive increase.

In the previous week, the country recorded 9,880 new infections Jan. 10 to Jan. 16, an increase when compared to the 9,833 cases recorded in the penultimate week January 3 -9 and the 5,681 cases recorded from Dec. 27 to January 2.

However, from Jan. 17 to Jan. 23, the country recorded 11,659 new infections out of the 87,092 samples tested.

Also, the 2,314 cases reported on Friday, January 22 is the highest daily figure of confirmed cases since the pandemic broke out in February 27, 2020.

Data from the NCDC show that a total of 87,092 samples were collected for testing as of November 20 as against the 136,077 tested the previous week.

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COVID-19: Schools Not Reopening Yet – Ugandan Government

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Uganda’s Ministry of Education and Sports has dismissed reports schools are being re-opened. It says no decision has been taken yet on resumption dates.

On Monday, Alex Kakooza, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Sports, tweeted that only candidate classes and finalists in institutions of higher learning were open.

He said the rest will wait until the government reaches a decision on when to re-open.

“Contrary to media reports, government has not yet agreed upon the re-opening of schools and higher institutions of learning for non-candidate classes,’’ Kakooza said.

In October 2020 , Uganda re-opened candidate classes, seven months after the government closed all schools, colleges and universities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As at Saturday, the country had a cumulative total of 39,149 COVID-19 cases, 13,861 recoveries and 317 deaths.

Uganda reported its first COVID-19 case on March 21, 2020.

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Ethiopia Announces 469 New COVID-19 cases

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Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health has announced 469 new Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 133,767.

The death toll from COVID-19 in the country reached 2,066 by Sunday evening, after three new deaths were reported, the ministry said.

It said 686 more recoveries were logged during the past 24 hours, taking the national count to 119,416.

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation, is one of the countries the hardest hit by COVID-19 in Africa, after South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt.

The Ethiopian government has been urging the public to implement COVID-19 precautionary measures to contain the spread of the virus.

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